Monday, July 6, 2009

Broken Levees

My family and I had a great trip to Missouri over the Independence Day weekend. On Friday I spent most of the day helping the Levee Czar (my father) inspect the levees surrounding about 800 acres of farmland. The levees had broken in several locations and flooded all the land and was inaccessible until just last week. It is amazing how fast the flow of water could erode 20 foot tall piles of soil, that even had large trees growing on it. The levees will eventually be repaired and the land will be used to grow a crop (probably soy beans), although much of the season has already been lost.

In homage, here is one of my favorite songs

When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin

Here is also a short poem I wrote during the trip:

Levee Cracks

The levees were raised
decades ago
from virgin soil.
Maples and oaks
slowly separated
and grew into
the artificial terrain,
fortifying it
but initiating cracks.
Vehicles and weather
also slowly wore
the peaks down
until a 100 year
flood arrived
and pressurized
the aging walls.
The cracks
grew and joined
and the water
bled free
of containment.
The branches and trunks
fell and drifted
to dam
the flexing creek.
-Robert L. Jackson III

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